Single Limb Exercises for Building Strength & Stability

We love single limb exercises for building strength and stability!⁠

Single limb exercises not only improve balance and control, reducing risk of injury and falls in any age bracket, they will also help to build strength and performance for those training more global movement patterns. ⁠
Eg, training bulgarian split squats will undoubtably have a positive impact on your squat. ⁠

Single limb exercises are great for recruiting muscles involved in stability and balance and will leave you feeling stronger and having more trust in your legs to do what you need them to do!⁠

Try incorporating some of these exercises into your programs – if you need help with them, reach out to any of our team!

single limb exercises for building strength and stability

Single leg sit-to-stand

single limb exercises for building strength and stability
  1. Begin by sitting on a chair or bench with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
  2. Choose one leg to work with and lift the other leg slightly off the ground, extending it in front of you.
  3. Engage your core muscles and shift your weight onto the leg that is still in contact with the ground. This will be your supporting leg throughout the exercise.
  4. Slowly push through your supporting leg, driving your body upward while maintaining control and balance. Keep your chest lifted and avoid leaning forward.
  5. As you stand up, extend your hips and knees fully until you are in an upright position.
  6. Slowly lower yourself back down to a seated position, bending your hips and knees as you descend.

Bulgarian Split Squats

single limb exercises for building strength and stability
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and take a step forward with one foot. Position your rear foot on an elevated surface such as a bench, box, or step, with the top of your foot facing down.
  2. Maintain an upright posture, engage your core, and keep your chest lifted throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower your body by bending your front knee and descending into a lunge position. Ensure that your front knee is directly above your ankle and does not extend past your toes. Your back knee should be pointing towards the floor.
  4. Keep your weight evenly distributed between both legs and focus on maintaining stability and balance.
  5. As you lower yourself down, exhale and engage your leg muscles, particularly the quadriceps and glutes, to control the movement.
  6. Push through your front heel and engage your leg muscles as you return to the starting position, extending your front leg and bringing yourself back up to standing.

Tippy Bird

single limb exercises for building strength and stability
  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms relaxed by your sides.
  2. Shift your weight onto your left leg while slightly bending your knee.
  3. Engage your core and maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise.
  4. Slowly hinge forward at the hips, extending your right leg behind you.
  5. Keep your back straight and extend your arms forward for balance.
  6. Lower your upper body until it’s parallel to the floor, while simultaneously lifting your right leg until it’s in line with your body.
  7. Pause briefly at the bottom, then return to the starting position by engaging your glutes and hamstrings.
  8. Repeat the movement on the opposite leg.

Calf Raises

single limb exercises for building strength and stability
  1. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Shift your weight onto one leg while keeping a slight bend in the knee.
  3. Engage your core for stability and maintain good posture throughout the exercise.
  4. Position the other leg slightly behind you or lift it off the ground, depending on your balance and strength.
  5. Place the ball of your foot on an elevated surface such as a step or a sturdy block, with your heel hanging off the edge.
  6. Slowly lower your heel toward the ground, feeling a stretch in your calf muscle.
  7. Push through the ball of your foot and raise your heel as high as you can, lifting your body up onto your toes.
  8. Pause briefly at the top of the movement and squeeze your calf muscles.
  9. Lower your heel back down in a controlled manner to complete one repetition.
  10. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions on one leg before switching to the other leg.

Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid any excessive pain or discomfort. If you experience sharp or prolonged pain, consult with a healthcare professional before continuing.

By incorporating non-traditional exercises alongside traditional strength training, you can enhance your overall athleticism, improve functional movement, and reduce the risk of injuries, ultimately helping you achieve your fitness goals.

Here at Physio and Fitness Clinic, we can assist you with your sports injuries, and build core strength. Make an appointment with a physio today for physiotherapy and physio run pilates.